Portsmouth council meets on Prudence today

Islanders crowd the Prudence Island Improvement Association Hall during last year's Town Council meeting. Islanders crowd the Prudence Island Improvement Association Hall during last year's Town Council meeting.

PORTSMOUTH — Town Council members will hear what’s on the minds of Prudence Island residents when they make their annual trip to the island Saturday.

The regular council meeting begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Prudence Island Improvement Association, 620 Narragansett Ave. Several other town officials and department heads will be in attendance.

Town Administrator John Klimm said the Prudence Island Planning Commission (PIPC), which serves as the liaison between the council and island residents, has requested several items for discussion on behalf of islanders.

In a post on the “Heard Around The Dock on Prudence Island” Facebook page, PIPC member Edward Aldrich Jr. said he submitted the following agenda items:

• Ferry service: According to Mr. Aldrich, islanders have previously asked the town to look into an area for a ferry to run out of Portsmouth, and that Weaver Cove was mentioned. Islanders want to know if any progress has been made on that front, or whether the issue is now moot. Islanders are also requesting a discussion on the town’s lease of land at Homestead to new ferry provider A&R Marine Corp. — expected to start runs in September — as well as its impact on passenger rates.

• Roads: Islanders are looking for an update on the repaving of Narragansett Avenue, which Mr. Aldrich said was put on the Department of Public Works’ road repair list five years ago.

• Septic system loan program: Prudence residents want to hear more about the town’s program to offer low-interest loans to residents who need to replace or repair their failing septic systems.

• Deer season: Islanders want a discussion on the R.I. Department of Environmental Management’s plan to change the start of deer hunting season on the island from the current Nov. 1 to Sept. 15, bringing the island in line with other areas of the state. There is a petition circulating on the island objecting to the earlier start, according to Mr. Aldrich, who points out there are arguments on both sides of the issue.

Also on the agenda, The Friends of the Leonard Brown House will seek the council’s endorsement to work with town staff to apply for a grant that would fund work by Roger Williams University in developing a “master plan” for improvements at Glen Farm.

The council will also be asked to approve the sale of six old police cruisers dating from 1998 to 2003. The mileage on the cars ranges from 117,361 to 141,262.

Getting to Prudence

If you plan on attending Saturday’s 1 p.m. meeting, the Prudence Island Ferry has a 10 a.m. boat that leaves from the Thames Street landing in Bristol. The cost of a round-trip ticket is $7.40 for adults, $3.70 for children ages 5 to 12. The ferry ride lasts about 25 minutes and travelers should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.

Last year Town Council members and other town officials took the 1:30 p.m. boat from Bristol to make a 2 p.m. meeting. The meeting had to adjourn early, however, so that council members could catch the 4 p.m. boat back to Bristol. The council then reconvened at Town Hall to finish the meeting.

This year, according to Mr. Klimm, town officials have arranged for a boat to take them to and from Prudence Island. That will allow the council to go through the entire agenda on Prudence without having to rush, he said.

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